Week 6 of the NFL season was the betting equivalent of coming across the middle and getting your bell rung by a helmet-to-helmet hit – WTF just happened?
If you were one of the public players siding with the favorites, you had your pockets turned inside out. Heading into the Monday night game, underdogs went a silly 11-2 ATS in Week 6.
The New York Giants’ win over the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks’ shocker over the New England Patriots, and the Green Bay Packers’ triumph over the Houston Texans were the hardest games to swallow if you gladly gave the points.
Those three losers were supposed to be the cream of the crop, as far as the Super Bowl futures odds were concerned. And now, heading into Week 7, football bettors’ heads are spinning like Barry Sanders in the open field.
“I think with the case of Green Bay-Houston, it says more about not underestimating the Packers,” Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, told Covers. “Some places dropped their odds a lot before that win. That was a statement from Green Bay in a must-win situation and it puts them back on schedule. Another big win like that and you'll see Green Bay's odds make a significant jump.”
Green Bay was set as a suggested 6-point road favorite in St. Louis for Week 7 while Houston, off its first loss of the year, faces the Baltimore Ravens as 5-point home chalk Sunday.
The Ravens will be without CB Lardarius Webb and LB Ray Lewis, the team’s emotional leader on and off the field. Baltimore’s defense is already without the services of LB Terrell Suggs and is a shell of its former self - ranked 26th in the league.
“I don’t have a point value for him,” Korner says of Lewis’ impact to the spread. “It’s tough to put a value on what he does. (The Ravens) are down two very good players but we have to look at their impact on a play-to-play basis, and you can’t really put a value on that."
"Lewis isn’t the same player he used to be, but he is a very valuable player," says Korner. "I'm not factoring his absence into the odds and I don't think bettors will either."
Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-7, 49.5)
The Giants, who thumped the Niners in San Francisco, are 7-point home favorites against the Washington Redskins. Korner says his group of oddsmakers brought spreads between -6.5 and -9 to the table but settled on a touchdown, trying to estimate the public’s opinion on this NFC East rivalry game.
“The Giants are obviously one of the top teams,” says Korner. “They perform so well in crunch time at the end of the season but have the ability to have a stinker earlier on. Washington played a good game, so it’s making these divisional games very tough for gamblers to predict.”
New York Jets at New England Patriots (-10.5, 47)
The Patriots let a 13-point lead slip away in Seattle Sunday and now return home to face a divisional foe, which has looked strong in its past two outings. New England is the biggest favorite on the Week 7 board, giving 10.5 points to the New York Jets.
“This is too high,” admits Korner. “I originally came with -8 because I think the Jets will keep it close, but some of our other guys came in as high as -12. I changed it to -9 and sent out -9.5, but some places have gone as high as -11 with this. There’s a big difference between 9.5 and 10.5. That’s a lot of points for dog players.”
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-5, 47.5)
The Bears are coming off the bye week and hosting a Lions squad that pulled out a must-win game against the Philadelphia Eagles in overtime Sunday.
“This is such a good game,” says Korner. “The Lions are a good team and much better than their record indicates, but Chicago is a really good team. This will go up before it comes down. I see this line coming in around -6 on Monday.”
As for the total, Korner says these NFC North rivalries always bring up memories of grind-it-out defenses and tough runs. But the total could go up with the way the Lions and Bears can strike on offense -plus the appeal of the over during the Monday night games. The total opened as low as 47 at some online books while the Sports Club sent out a suggested number of 48 points.